1. Belonging to or designating a genus (as opposed to a species) or a class, group, or kind. In SEMANTICS, a generic term includes other terms that belong in the same class: for example, officer includes colonel, major, captain, and flower includes hyacinth, rose, tulip. In law, a TRADEMARK ceases to be protected when it comes to be more widely used for, and understood as, a type rather than a brand: for example, the proprietary names Hoover for type of vacuum cleaner and Xerox for equipment that makes xerographic copies are, despite being trademarks, widely used for vacuum cleaners in general and xerographic copies of all kinds. When so used, especially as verbs, they are written without an initial capital (to hoover; a xerox, to xerox). When this happens, the mark is referred to as generic or a generic.
2. In GRAMMAR, a word is generic if it applies to both men and women. He has traditionally been considered a GENERIC PRONOUN, but feminists, among others, object to both the classification and the usage. See SEXISM.
ge·ner·ic / jəˈnerik/ • adj. 1. characteristic of or relating to a class or group of things; not specific: chèvre is a generic term for all goat's milk cheese. ∎ (of goods, esp. medicinal drugs) having no brand name; not protected by a registered trademark: generic aspirin. 2. Biol. of or relating to a genus. • n. a consumer product having no brand name or registered trademark: substituting generics for brand-name drugs. DERIVATIVES: ge·ner·i·cal·ly / -ik(ə)lē/ adv.